DIY Transition Boards

In my opinion, everybody has some struggle with transitions, even adults. But for kids, it is usually even harder. Add to that a special need like some sensory issues or separation anxiety and transitions may become a constant battle. These children may not understand the flow of a day, may become frustrated at the thought of going to school instead of the pool, or may have trouble grasping the days of the week. My son Blake is one of those kids, except he hides it well, until well …. he doesn’t. For us, that means meltdowns and some aggression. In my quest to make his life easier and his body more relaxed and calm on a daily basis, I decided we needed some transition boards. I searched and searched and could not I find something that would work for us and so the logical solution, head to the craft store and work it out myself.

We needed something with pictures and words, something with interchangeable activities, and for me something I could stand to look at everyday.

Here is what we came up with…DIY Transition Boards

First I needed a board to help him understand which days of the week he would be going to preschool. I found all these items at the craft store (the chalkboard clothespins were a score in the dollar bins) and hot glued away. I printed clip art pictures that I found by the good ole’ standby Google. Just search for whatever activity or place you are looking for, choose the pictures in Google’s image search, then drag them to a blank document and print. I have a laminator I got for 20 bucks at Costco, so I just ran the printed images through my laminator. You could also take them to a printing store and have them do it, buy laminating sheets, or if worst comes to worst just cover the pictures in tape. I use the clothespins to hold the little pictures in place that way the are easily interchangeable.

DIY Transition Boards

We also needed a board to help with daily transitions. I used the same process for that board, you know so they matched. This way in the morning Blake and I go over together what we have planned for the day and he can put up some items he would like to do if that fits in the day (he will always pick the pool.)

DIY Transition Boards

I hung these with command hooks, you know what command hooks are right?! The best things ever, they are removable, reusable hooks that come in all shapes and sizes. I love them! You can see an example in the top picture. I keep these boards on a low side cabinet so he can look at them closely and refer to them as needed.

Next up I will share our incentive program (sounds like a car dealership huh?) 😉

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  • Andrea Richison
    August 27, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I used to work in a classroom for kids with low incidence disabilites and on the autism spectrum. We used picture schedules everyday. They really are an amazing tool. I think really any kid could benefit from them. It helps to plan a day and perhaps make it a little less overwhelming. Great post!

  • Leslee
    August 29, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    I’m really loving this idea, Lauren. I’ve bought supplies and am repurposing several items from my craft closet and am making some of these transition boards for Sarah Beth this weekend! She’s been having a hard time with there being TOO much on our calendar, and I think this set up is perfect to make sure we aren’t overdoing it and she is aware of what’s to come. Thank you for sharing!

  • Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas
    August 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    This is a great idea, Lauren. I really think Benjamin needs something similar. Could you lend me some of your craftiness, please? ; )

  • Jeni
    September 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Oh wow! I was just looking for a calendar that would work like this. This is perfect especially bc my 4 yr old only has Pre-K on M, W, F and I know she gets confused knowing what days it falls on. Excellent!